Interview with TechNet Ninja - Conner Wood

Hello guys,

I am coming back to you today with another Interview with one of the Wiki Ninjas.

The TechNet Wiki (TNWiki) Ninjas are the members who write articles in the TNWiki system and share their knowledge with the community. On Monday we publish an interview with one of the top TechNet Wiki Ninjas, who have impressed us. We write about their achievements and introduce them to the community in our "Monday - Interview with a Wiki Ninja" category. This is our small way to say thanks, to honor the members for their contribution to the community, and present the people behind the scene.

By the way, do you wonder how do I select the next potential member to interview?

One of my main tools which I use is checking how many articles the member posted and how many of these won a Gold medal during our Monthly Contest. This information is open to all… I do not start with the internal information like querying the database, but with a simple article which is open to all - TechNet Guru: The Most Frequent Award Winners. This article was originally created in 2013 by Ed Price. In the last several years it was forgotten until Paul Long came and decided to take the task of updating this article each month. For the last several months this article is a great source of information. In fact, my first step to choose the next person for Monday Interview is to check this article. I will not make my choice only based on statistics, but this is definitely my first filter.
It is great opportunity to say thanks Paul for your valuable work.

Back to the topic of today…


Today, I would like to introduce you Conner Wood.

You can find Conner’s MSDN profile page here, and as you can see that he uses the nickname “C Sharp Conner”, which is probably the combination of his expertise in C# with his first name Conner.

Conner already posted 18 new articles, won 10 Gold medals, 6 Silver medals, and 2 Bronze medals – surly impressive numbers!

Moreover, Conner is active in the TechNet community in other contributions. You can find him in the MSDN forums helping people and answering questions, he takes active part in discussions in the blogs, published 7 Galleries projects, and more.

Well, it’s time to hear from Conner…


Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies? Also tell more about your interests.

I am Conner Wood, a man born and raised in Canada. On TechNet, I've used the alias “C Sharp Conner”.  I am currently employed as an IT Analyst at the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

My hard skill specialties include C#, SQL, Cryptography, and Windows Administration (Active Directory, Registry, PInvoke) which all play their role in Software Troubleshooting/Development/Engineering.

As for soft skills: teamwork, face to face communication, and most importantly listening to what others have to say add to my prowess as an authoritative leader.


What are your big projects right now?

At work, I've just finished my latest masterpiece for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.  It is called “Account Ninja Enterprise” and it is a very powerful windows troubleshooting tool for Active Directory and Remote Computers.  The previous version increased productively and longevity of our Service Desk tenfold.  Some from the very start of Account Ninja five years ago are STILL on the Service Desk and not burnt out.  But Account Ninja Enterprise takes it to a whole new level with Local Profile Retire and Data Transfer capabilities that work even cross-domain.  And I also made use of the C# Bouncy Castle Encryption library to use Authenticated Encryption for secure stored credentials that would get annoying to type +50 times a day.

I have no doubt in the near future that Account Ninja Enterprise will be used Province Wide by each Service Desk in the Saskatchewan Health Authority… and even beyond that.

While I certainly cannot distribute this work as it belongs to the SHA (they paid my wages + it was made on company time with company assets), I can however show the Account Ninja Enterprise User Guide (complete with pictures).  Those of you who want to enrich your knowledge should take a peek at the PDF.


What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job and activities?

I've made a fair amount of contributions on TechNet Wiki and TechNet Gallery mostly regarding System Center Service Manager.  It is a great place to start searching for in-depth information and the community is full of superstars.  As much as I like to boast being a one-man army, I've been saved a couple of times when under fire when it really counted.

In what other sites and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?

I've recently been making an online presence on Gamasutra, the Godot Engine Facebook Group, and LinkedIn.  In the past I made maps and game modes for Gears of War PC such as Alliance which was my finest accomplishment back in the day.  Naturally I've been a Gears Fan ever since and interact with the community from time to time, but by no means am I a celebrity nor a guru among the masses.


Do you have any tips for new Wiki authors?

ALWAYS save your article in an offline document in case you submit an article but you were logged out behind the scenes and lose everything you typed.  As the saying goes, there are two people in the world, those that have a backup and those that haven't lost everything yet.  Break the vicious cycle I believe in you!

The best piece of advice I can give is something I once read from a fan-fiction.

"Harry had always been frightened of ending up as one of those child prodigies that never amounted to anything and spent the rest of their lives boasting about how far ahead they'd been at age ten.  But then most adult geniuses never amounted to anything either.  There were probably a thousand people as intelligent as Einstein for every actual Einstein in history.  Because those other geniuses hadn't gotten their hands on the one thing you absolutely needed to achieve greatness.  They'd never found an important problem." ~ HPMOR


Over half a year there are discussions regarding the future of the TechNet Wiki. We are standing on a cross road, and the decisions that will be made in the next few months will shape the future of the community.

How do you see the future of the TechNet Wiki in five, ten, or fifty years from now?

I would hope that the knowledge within TechNet Wiki would be protected, though if it isn't then I would hope so much has changed that the information is no longer relevant and thus, not a loss to anyone.  If I had to guess, TechNet Wiki will gain a reputation system, where articles are ranked by others, in a similar fashion to how Wiki Ninja works.

This is your direct communication channel to the Microsoft team that in-charge on the TNWiki: Is there anything you want me to send to them (comments, recommendation, features you would like to see added, or changes which you think should be made in order to improve the future system)?

I would like the ability to easily find all articles written by a particular user, in a very readable and clickable format which would take you right to the article.


Do you want to add something in conclusion?

In the past I was a competitive fencer who won gold in both a Western and National Tournament, though my absolute favorite moment was winning the Calgary U15 Tournament where my Grandma proclaimed I won gold because of her Golden Shoes.  It matters not that I went on to win bigger tournaments with higher stakes and better looking gold medals, but that I won with my family at my side.  As important as work is, you need to live life outside of work.  Never let your good memories fade.


Thank you so much Conner for contributing to the TechNet community and to the TechNet Wiki! It was great to hear from you directly, and nice to know more about you.

Please join me in thanking Conner!